Environment & Weather
NPS to Assist Iowa Communities with River and Trail Projects PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Environment & Weather
Written by Kathy Kupper   
Friday, 13 January 2012 09:34

WASHINGTON—The National Park Service will help local communities implement more than 200 natural resource and recreational projects under the agency’s Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance Program (RTCA), Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced today.

Communities from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico are working in partnership with the National Park Service.

This year, in Iowa, RTCA is working with:

·        Wapello County on the American Gothic Regional Trail

·        City of Des Moines on the Central Iowa Greenways Initiative

·        City of Cherokee, Iowa on the Cherokee Trails and Riverfront Development

·        Fayette County Trails on the Fayette County Trails

·        Decatur County Conservation on the Grand River Water Trail

·        Louisa County Conservation Board on the Louisa County Trail

·        Jones County Conservation and the City of Monticello on the Maquoketa River Restoration Mon Maq Dam Alteration

·        Carroll County Conservation on the Middle Raccoon River Water Trail

·        Mississippi River Trail, Inc. on the Mississippi River Connections Collaborative: Mississippi River Trail

·        Pottawattamie County Conservation on the Pottawattamie County Trail

·        Nishna Valley Trails Association on the T-Bone Trail

·        Whiterock Conservancy Iowa Department of Natural Resources on the Whiterock Conservancy Soft Trail Project

To read more about these projects, visit:


To see how RTCA is assisting communities nationwide, visit: http://www.nps.gov/ncrc/programs/rtca/whatwedo/projects_by_state.html

“One of the major goals of President Obama’s America’s Great Outdoors initiative is to reconnect Americans to nature by expanding recreational opportunities,” Salazar said. “Through the RTCA program, the National Park Service will provide expertise and assistance to local communities that are building trails and undertaking other conservation and recreation projects.”

Under the RTCA program, the National Park Service helps communities and neighborhoods to preserve valuable open spaces, revitalize nearby rivers, and develop trail and greenway networks. This year’s projects were selected from the most competitive field of requests ever received by the agency.

Projects are locally conceived and initiated, with RTCA staff supporting community based recreation and conservation leaders. Each year, RTCA project partnerships contribute to the construction of 1,700 miles of trail, conservation of nearly 1,000 miles of river, and protection of more than 50,000 acres of open space.

More than 20 of the projects included in the RTCA project announcement today also were highlighted in the America’s Great Outdoors 50-State report released by Secretary Salazar in November. The report listed more than 100 high-priority projects representing what states believe are among the best investments in the nation to support a healthy, active population, conserve wildlife and working lands, and create travel, tourism and outdoor-recreation jobs across the country. Interior is working closely with states and local communities to advance these priority projects as quickly as possible.

For more information on the National Park Service’s Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance program, please visit http://www.nps.gov/rtca.

Winter Storm Watch: Winter driving expert available for interview PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Environment & Weather
Written by Claudia Carranza   
Wednesday, 11 January 2012 13:08
With winter weather ahead of us, many people become anxious behind the wheel. We have winter driving school experts who can teach your audience safety tips to help them handle winter driving conditions.

As Iowa faces the onset of winter storms, our national experts at the Bridgestone Winter Driving School, in Steamboat Springs, Colo., can offer tips on preparing the driver, the car and the family for the hazardous weather conditions. From avoiding skids on icy roads to ways to safely free your car if you become stuck in the snow, our experts’ information can help ensure the safety of your community members.

If you are interested in more information, please visit Bridgestone’s Winter Driving Safety site at http://winterdrivingsafety.com/.

Quinn and Durbin Announce $7.7 Million Investment to Help Illinois Communities Recover From Storms PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Environment & Weather
Written by Nafia Khan   
Tuesday, 10 January 2012 15:45

CHICAGO – January 9, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn and U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) and today announced a more than $7.7 million investment in Illinois communities to help cover the costs of repairing roads and bridges damaged by storms last year. Today’s funding is provided through the Department of Transportation’s Emergency Relief program which funds the repair and reconstruction of federal highways and roads that have suffered serious damage as a result of natural disasters and other outside factors.

The Illinois Department of Transportation will receive a total of $7,718,612 in funding to be distributed in the following areas:

  • Northwest Illinois: $4,756,819 in funding to help Northwest Illinois communities cover the cost of damage caused by high wind and torrential rainfall exceeding 12 inches on July 27, 2011.  Types of damage included drainage and roadway washouts and slope failures.
  • Southern Illinois: $2,961,793 in funding to help Southern Illinois communities cover the cost of damage caused by widespread heavy rain and flooding – mainly along the Ohio and Mississippi River basins – on April 19, 2011.  Types of damage included drainage and roadway system washouts and slope failures.

Decision Issued on Iowa’s Water Quality Standards PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Environment & Weather
Written by Kirk Lancaster   
Tuesday, 10 January 2012 14:33

Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, and Nine Tribal Nations

Decision Issued on Iowa’s Water Quality Standards

(Kansas City, Kan., Jan. 6, 2012) - EPA has approved the Iowa Department of Natural Resources’ (IDNR) designated use changes for 430 water bodies and disapproved proposed changes for 89 water bodies.  Designated uses describe the achievable recreational activities and aquatic life uses for Iowa’s waters.

“Healthy watersheds provide Iowa communities with safe drinking water, recreational opportunities, environmental benefits and clean water for habitat for fish and wildlife,” said Karl Brooks, regional administrator. “EPA will continue working with the state to protect Iowa’s lakes, rivers and streams."

IDNR submitted these new and revised Iowa surface water quality standards to EPA for review and approval, as required by the Clean Water Act (CWA).  The state based its recommendations on site-specific field data gathered by IDNR in and near streams, lakes and rivers. This submission updates the use designations to determine the highest attainable use for the individual waters.

Designated recreational uses protect for activities such as swimming, fishing and canoeing; and for human consumption of aquatic life.  Aquatic life uses provide for the protection and maintenance of a healthy environment for fish and other animals.

The CWA assigns EPA the duty to oversee state-agency actions to protect water quality. In partnership with IDNR, EPA works with the public, community leaders, local and state agencies to meet the growing needs and demands of our water resources.

EPA’s Jan. 5, 2012, decision letter provides a more detailed description of EPA’s review and the basis for this action.  The decision letter is available at http://www.epa.gov/region07/news_events/legal/index.htm

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For more information about activities in EPA Region 7, visit



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News Releases - Environment & Weather
Written by Kenneth Asta   
Wednesday, 04 January 2012 15:46

Davenport, Iowa, January 4, 2012 – Davenport Parks and Recreation will offer a “Walk with Eagles” program on January 14, 2012 at 9 am. Come and view this most majestic bird in its winter habitat. This event is free and educational for the entire family!

Meet at Credit Island Lodge to start your adventure. Bring your binoculars or borrow one from Parks and Recreation to see the eagles and other wildlife along the river. Remember to dress for the cold weather.

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